This is what my fridge looks like now. After 33 years of struggling to cook, clean, and eat, I've finally found the solution to the inconvenience of hunger! Now when I go out to eat, it's because I WANT to enjoy a social experience. It's not because my stomach is making demands of me.

This is what my fridge looks like now. After 33 years of struggling to cook, clean, and eat, I've finally found the solution to the inconvenience of hunger! Now when I go out to eat, it's because I WANT to enjoy a social experience. It's not because my stomach is making demands of me.

How I Escaped the Tyranny of Food with Soylent

Food has always been an inconvenience to me. Yes, I love the taste and I love eating – but it’s always been outweighed by the drudgery of cooking, and washing up. For years now, I’ve essentially lived off various frozen foods. But even those take more work than I would like…microwaving, stirring, then microwaving again. And I need to break what I’m doing and waste around 15 minutes shoveling fuel into my body to get through the next few hours.

I call it the tyranny of food. I mean, it’s ridiculous that I live in the 21st century and I still have to prepare and eat stuff to power my body. Nirvana would mean I could touch an electrical outlet and “charge myself” for the whole day in advance like my phone. Sadly, that day seems a long time in the future :(

My frustration ended with me writing a long post on how no one understands what “readymade” means. So many food products claim to be readymade, but that’s just a trick. Most of the time you need to heat it up, boil stuff, mix it with something else and other such nonsense. “Readymade” means:

1. Open
2. Eat/Drink

The outcome of that post was a recommendation made by a friend of mine on Google+ to try out a product called “Soylent”. When I looked at it, I knew I had found food paradise.

Soylent has replaced food for me. It’s nutritionally complete with a low glycemic index and load. It comes in two forms – powdered and ready made liquid. I’ve been drinking the latter for now, because I prefer the macronutrient profile (it has more protein), but the powdered form will be updated soon. It comes in a nice simple white box with 12 bottles in each.

One pack of Soylent – 12 bottles

A single bottle is 400 calories and has everything the body needs. All the optimal micro/macro nutrients. Unlike other similar products, it’s not a food “supplement”. It is a food replacement. I’ve been drinking Soylent for around 2 months now for 80% of my meals and I’ve never felt better. It’s bloody awesome!

It has no taste. It makes no pretensions to flavor. It is what it is – fuel for my body and nothing more. Being bland means I can’t get tired of it, or sick of it. 5 minutes after gulping down a bottle of Soylent, I stop thinking about food for the next few hours. What’s more, you can keep an exact log of your calories since each bottle is so a discrete unit. 3-5 bottles a day is what I drink. And my food worries are over.

I’m sipping a bottle of Soylent as I write this article. I no longer have to get up from my computer to bother with whipping up some crap and hastily stuffing my face so I can get back to whatever I was doing before. My fuel is right here next to me. I think I’m in love…

I still enjoy eating and the flavor of food of course. And I still do so 3-4 times a week at restaurants. But that’s when I want to have a good time with social company and nice conversation. This way I’m in charge of my experience with food. I’m no longer doing so out of hunger. My body no longer controls me. The tyrant is dead!

Also, Soylent ships to my door via FedEx for free. The shipping costs are bundled into the product cost. So no more leaving the house to go shopping and lugging my food back every week. Everything is convenient and simple. The answer to my prayers!

On a related note, to my knowledge this is the only product that is 100% nutritionally complete and where you don’t have to eat/drink anything besides. Additionally, the low glycemic index is a real selling point, compared to other solutions like Ensure and Slimfast which go way above the recommended 180 mg/dl 2 hrs after consumption. This guy plotted his blood sugar after Soylent consumption, so you can see the results for yourself. Also, that’s the old 1.5 version. The new bottled 2.0 has an even lower index.

I realize that food is a big deal to a lot of people, and they would be horrified at the idea of giving it up. That’s great – no one is coming after people’s kitchens :) . But for those like me who view food as an inconvenience to be dispatched with quickly and efficiently, products like Soylent are a godsend.

P.S. Yes, I know the name “Soylent” is from the 1973 movie “Soylent Green” starring Charleston Heston. Apparently the name was a deliberate choice for some laughs. “Soylent Green is people!!”.

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Comments

  1. If it contains ” soya protein isolate ” then it is genetically modified….if you dont mind..then its ok to keep drinking it..calculate the total protein consumed in one day..it should be 1gram per kg body weight per day..so if you weigh 60kg you need 60gms of protein a day..100gms of soya contains 40gms protein..so do calculate carefully..

    Reply

  2. From the bottom of your article:
    “P.S. Yes, I know the name “Soylent” is from the 1973 movie “Soylent Green” starring Charleston Heston. Apparently the name was a deliberate choice for some laughs. “Soylent Green is people!!”.”

    Well…technically it is from the book on which the movie was based, “Make Room, Make Room.” In the book, Soylent was made of soy and lentils (NOT people!) and was a complete nutritional meal for anyone who consumed it.

    Reply

  3. I’d also suggest looking into Meal Squares. Nutritionally very similar to Soylent except it’s a solid baked item made mostly from natural food ingredients. Also happens to be in discrete 400 calorie units that you just open and eat. It’s a little dry, but serving it with water (or presumably Soylent) to drink makes the moisture content much better.

    Reply

  4. Dude…if this is an ad, good for you!

    But if you are actually doing this, please stop. This can’t possibly be healthy. Believe me, I am no health freak, my own diet is as unhealthy as possibly can be, but even I am 100% sure this kind of diet will kill your immunity.

    Reply

    • In reply to Sumit

      No, it isn’t an ad :) . Though I have no objections to getting paid if someone wants to send money my way :)

      As far as health goes, it’s weird because I’m pretty sure I’ve never been eating better. I don’t think my body has ever received such perfect nutrition before. The community is pretty alert on things like this and there are people logging online their day to day sickness logs, glucose levels, fat percentage, BP etc. I’m optimistic that my immune function will actually improve dramatically!

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Dude…I was curious so I actually went to this Soylent website. Even they don’t say that it can replace food intake in general, just a meal or two somewhere in particular. It’s not just about the calories. At the very least, I would say talk to an actual doctor. Even though the “community” is alert on these things, I am sure you know that there penis enlargement and dieting are the two things where the “community” has shown tremendous propensity in the past to fall for scams :)

        Reply

      • In reply to Sumit

        That’s for marketing purposes. For some reason, people get very defensive if you tell them that you’re replacing food – I have no idea why. Legally, Soylent is regulated as a food, not as a food supplement. It’s supposed to be able to completely replace all meals if you want.

        The inventor of this – Rob Rhinehart – is a techie in Silicon valley and he had written a blog post a couple of years go titled: How I Stopped Eating Food. If you give it a quick look, you’ll see where he’s coming from :P . He’s undeniably a bit…unusual. But I have to appreciate his taste for efficiency. I think that’s what my life could be like as well.

        Of course, everyone who replaces food like this eats regular stuff occasionally – for social gatherings, and sometimes when you just want to taste something. Just today my wife and I went to Panera breads and had a sandwich + soup. But 80% off all my meals are replaced now.

        As for the science, all the objections to Soylent I’ve heard about so far are philosophical or based on fear mongering. At the most, the worst I’ve heard is “We don’t know what we don’t know”. As far as I know, there hasn’t been any specific complaint against the science. No qualified person has said “xyz component is dangerous” or “There’s not enough protein”, or something like that.

        I take real scientific objections very seriously. There’s lots of well qualified scientific sources talking about the (in)efficacy of penis enlargement, so the data’s there for anyone to see.

        For replacing food like this, I haven’t heard anything yet.

        Reply

      • MensVeritas says:

        In reply to Sumit

        Your assertion here that they don’t support a pure Soylent diet is false.

        In the Soylent FAQ entry “How do I use Soylent?” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/201273045-How-do-I-use-Soylent-
        >Some people use it almost exclusively, ..

        In the entry “Soylent Approach to Nutrition” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/203709619-Soylent-Approach-to-Nutrition
        >Our goal at Soylent is to engineer nutritionally-complete food products ..

        In the entry “Nutrition” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/200789315-Nutrition
        >Soylent’s nutritional makeup is comprehensive. It contains all of the elements of a healthy diet, ..

        There’s also an entire Soylent FAQ entry titled “Eating nothing but Soylent” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/200332089-Eating-nothing-but-Soylent
        >If you would like to eat only Soylent during the day, that is an option, ..

        Because you mention doctors:

        Also in the entry “Soylent Approach to Nutrition” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/203709619-Soylent-Approach-to-Nutrition
        >We base all of our nutrition decisions on commonly-accepted and replicable findings by the scientific community.

        In the entry “Nutrition” –
        https://faq.soylent.com/hc/en-us/articles/200789315-Nutrition
        >Soylent 1.5 was developed under the close guidance of our nutritional advisor, Dr. F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, M.D., MPH. Pi-Sunyer is professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. At St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center he serves as chief of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition, ..

        In other words, development of the formula was overseen by an actual doctor with expertise in nutrition.

        If you want to criticize their product please go ahead. But at least start with the facts about what they’re offering.

        Reply

      • In reply to MensVeritas

        i am convinced that Sumit was expressing his doubts, only for your own safety and well being…today even medical professionals are ” paid off ” to produce and endorse ” safe ” products….its all a big business, that focuses primarily on profits for the company, at the expense of the consumer’s well being….i am not saying that this is so in the present context…..but its prudent to be aware of what goes on…..

        Reply

      • In reply to tp

        In this case it’s probably the other way around. Soylent was invented for the express purpose of never having to make full use of the kitchen ever again. Go read the early articles, it’s crystal clear… But today if the company making it says “yeah let’s all live on this stuff and absolutely nothing else!” then they’re opening themselves to lawsuits. Hostile government regulatory intrusion too. Even if it turns out they do have the nutrition science absolutely nailed, there’s always a risk of lawsuits. So the lawyers make them back off on the claims.

        Besides, which is more inviting to potential customers: “You can live on nothing but this!” (And if you don’t do it 100%, you’ve failed in the great experiment.) Or “have a bottle or two (or more) every day, it’s better for you than fast food and easier than home cooking…”

        I’m a little more cautious with notions of how much or little we know about nutrition, but I’m fairly certain most reasonably healthy humans could live on Soylent for years and get by alright. I just ordered some to try.

        Reply

    • In reply to Sumit

      My diet since Oct has consisted of 4 bottles of Soylent 2.0 and nothing else, except for times when I’m socializing with friends/family. I work 40hrs a week, in retail, and I can’t think of many other jobs that test your immune system so thoroughly. I used to get sick at least two to 3 times a year and each time it was sick enough to miss work. This past holiday season I got a little sick, and thought I was in for my usual progression of a little cold turning into full blown bronchitis, that would have me missing several days of work. I ended up not missing a day of work and never felt miserably sick for the few days I had the cold. I’ve never felt healthier than I do since starting Soylent.

      Reply

  5. Do you monitor your weight and has it changed since you started eating mostly Soylent, assuming you haven’t introduced new snacks into your diet?

    Reply

    • In reply to Martin

      Weight has changed merely as a function of caloric intake. I take in around 1800 calories a day which is approximately how much I burn as well. So you can gain/lose weight by adjusting the intake. Monitoring the calories is easier though…

      Reply

  6. Bob Loblaw ..and Santosh..Happy to hear this

    Reply

  7. You’ve gotta tell ’em! SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE! We gotta stop them! Somehow! Listen! Listen to me… PLEASE!!!

    Reply

  8. Sir,

    Do we get these in India, or is that a US-only product? I sure would love to try this. At least when I attend interviews or am in a hurry, this would come in handy. Please let me know.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • In reply to Iniyavel

      Unfortunately, this is only US and Canada right now :(

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        No problem sir,

        Once this starts selling in India, I can surely use this and avoid having to respond to my mom/sis shouting at me to come and eat and disrupt my flow of work! Haha….

        Apologies for going off topic here, as an aside, I did see you comment earlier on Sanjeev Sabhlok’s site. I’m quite a regular reader and I occasionally comment there under the same screen name. Do you think he’s unrealistic or are his ideas within our reach?

        Thanks.

        Reply

      • In reply to Iniyavel

        I think Sabhlok is a bit too rigid in his ideas. Once you commit to follow a philosophy, then you’re forced to go wherever it takes you. You no longer make up your own mind about individual issues, and instead look to the “rules” to figure out where you stand…

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        True that. Sabhlok has pretty good economic ideas I must admit, but outside of economics, his ideas, especially regarding international politics and other (mostly cultural) issues plaguing a conservative country like India, are impractical. I appreciate his economic ideas, but his ideas on other issues are best discarded.

        For instance, his ideas on how to handle the threat of Islamic terror (mostly driven by money from Qatari/Saudi Wahhabi ideologists) will create further instability in an already backward and reactionary Middle East. He claims to be a liberal evangelist. But the very idea of liberalism and critical thoughts is anathema to Islam and Islamic countries/communities. Islam is not like Communism wherein people are liberated with the destruction of the ruling government. It goes into further conservatism and even fanaticism as we’re seeing in Iraq and Syria.

        I wanted to discuss this with him, but I was not too confident that he would accept anything from my side. What he ultimately forgets is that the world is not exactly split into liberal and illiberal, socialist and capitalist. The liberal USA has deep economic and military ties with the illiberal Saudi Arabia. And capitalist Japan has good ties with socialist India. That Sabhlok is blind to such dynamics (according to his theory) is alarming.

        Though I do discuss some (mostly economic) issues with him, I basically dump his ideas on politics, history and other issues outside the economic circle as they’re not just impractical, but counter productive. It will backfire for sure.

        Thanks.

        Reply

      • In reply to Iniyavel

        Forgot to mention, Sabhlok is also very gullible. He who sees government owned enterprises as evil, had no qualms in teaming up with Baba Ramdev who amassed such huge wealth and also became a power broker for 2014, now expanding his empire. He actually wanted Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal to help him start a liberal party against corruption for 2014! How foolish can one get? A liberal party with self-centered bigots was his idea!

        And he also mentioned in one of his posts that if he ever was interested in Rahul Gandhi, it would be to bring him to book for corruption. I was ROFL ing, literally. Does he really think that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Baba Ramdev, Arvind Kejriwal, etc, are the types that actually give a damn for the rule of law? They’ll just hurl sand in Sabhlok’s face and escape the law all the time. In a scenario where Sabhlok does happen to rule, sly people like the aforementioned will roam around with even more gall than before. They’ll effectively rule the roads with Sabhlok watching haplessly. That’s estimated reality.

        Realism is the only viewpoint that I developed in a few years. As a 23 year old now, I don’t support nor oppose anyone outright. I see the good and bad parts of all sides and make my own decisions. And I’m also very much open to new ideas coming to me.

        Thanks.

        Reply

  9. Sir,

    think, it will be an year now since you have stopped taking regular food much. How is your health? Any side-effects?

    Reply

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